Coast Guard repatriates 7 Dominicans to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Pea Island repatriated seven Dominican men to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic Tuesday, following an at-sea interdiction by Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG) Law Enforcement authorities Monday.

The crew of the Pea Island detained one other Dominican man for attempting to enter illegally into the United States or a U.S. territory after previously having been formally deported. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Puerto Rico accepted to prosecute his case.

The crew of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection DASH-8 aircraft located a 20-foot wooden vessel Sunday night, while patrolling waters approximately 17 nautical miles west of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.

The Dominican migrants were traveling illegally to Puerto Rico from the Dominican Republic.

The crew of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection marine unit interdicted the migrant vessel, while the Coast Guard Cutter Pea Island arrived on scene shortly thereafter and embarked the migrants. Once onboard the cutter, the crew of the Pea Island collected the biographic information, including digital fingerprints and facial photographs from the interdicted migrants.

The Pea Island rendezvoused Monday afternoon with awaiting Border Patrol agents in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, where Border Patrol agents conducted migrant interviews and took custody of the detained migrant.

The crew of the Pea Island repatriated the remaining seven Dominicans Tuesday morning, when they turned custody over to Dominican Republic Naval authorities in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Coast Guard Cutter Pea Island is a 110-foot patrol boat home ported in Key West, Fla.

The concept of CBIG resulted from a March 2006 collaboration of local Homeland Security components that effectively stemmed the increased flow of traffic across the Mona Passage between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. In July 2006, CBIG was formally created to unify efforts of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Air & Marine (A&M), Office of Field Operations (OFO), and Office of Border Patrol (OBP), the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) the United States Attorney ‘ s Office, District of Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid action (FURA) in their common goal of securing Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands against illegal maritime traffic and gaining control of our nation’s Caribbean borders.

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